Gorgeous, glamorous and timelessly chic. The ancient art of églomisé is back in a big way.
It was over 2,000 years ago when artisans first gilded glass with impossibly thin layers of silver or gold leaf. And we use the same time-honored process today to create beautifully antiqued furniture. It’s a painstaking endeavor, with each piece of glass getting hours of attention … and the results are dazzling. The delicate detail work produces dramatic dressers, vanities and bedside tables, each with the rich character of a well-loved heirloom.
Want to learn more about this old-world art, and discover our stunning revival pieces – crafted by hand and designed in our own studio? Read “Gorgeous, Glamorous Églomisé: Reviving the Ancient Art of Gilding.”
Get inspired by more dazzling pieces on Pinterest.
Done well, eclectic furniture collections create texture and warmth. And intrigue. To Jack Ovadia, there’s beauty in being bold. “Never be afraid to try,” the New York-based designer said. “The harder you try, the better the results.”
And so Ovadia balanced glistening metallic pieces with expressive textural works in designing the poolside seating area at the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse.
Mixing two collections, he set a foundation in hard metals. Then he softened the scene with texture, using woven wicker seating, sphere-shaped and shaggy pillows, and dimensional table accents.
Within that framework, balance perpetuated. Glamorous gold accent pieces offset clean, white leather seating. Matte finishes juxtaposed with shiny ones. Pillows ranged from sharp geometric patterns to soft floral prints, from fluffy feathers to Pollock-esque paint splatters.
Working exclusively with our contemporary Porta Forma line, Ovadia placed artful accents everywhere. Dramatic, angular Pascal Tables made a riveting statement poolside.
“They’re the piece that people say, ‘Wow, what is that?’ ” Ovadia said of the Pascal Tables. “That’s what I love about the space. We used really unique pieces that we don’t think you’re going to be able to see anywhere else.”
Artful elements aside, the goal was warmth – figurative and literal. Seated round the hammered copper firepit, as the sun sets poolside, there’s plenty to admire. “When people use this space,” Ovadia said, “I want them to feel like they never have to leave.”
“That’s what I love about the space. We used really unique pieces that we don’t think you’re going to be able to see anywhere else.”
Here’s a trade secret. One of the easiest and most dramatic ways to transform a room is by adding a showstopping rug.
Faster than a coat of paint, an area rug instantly adds color and texture … and easily can be switched with the seasons. Speaking of, we love the idea of changing the palette and ambience of a room in the fall and spring: from warm and welcoming to cool and crisp … and it’s easily accomplished with just a new rug and pillows.
Today’s rugs do more than pay homage to ages-old Persian designs. They’re becoming fashion statements in their own right. Emboldened by their couture counterparts, weavers are remastering the classic rugs – enlivening them with splashes of adventurous color or creating new patterns that exude transitional sophistication.
New hues and designs make these rugs feel fresh and contemporary. And, in an antidote to our flat-screen world, their sculptural pile brings a sense of texture and real-world warmth. In fact, these days weavers are creating high and low relief patterns that are handwoven into the design, rather than cut in after the fact. Making them highly livable … with artful, organic texture that begs you to walk all over them.
So as cooler weather sets in, it’s time to fill your rooms with personality and pizzazz by adding a fashion-statement rug.
If you need help with measuring, read our Decorating with Rugs: Softness and Style Underfoot article.
Tip: no matter what type of rug you use, place a rug pad underneath to help keep it in place and extend its life.
When designing bar stools, Eric Homan believes in love at first sight. People know immediately if a chair appeals to them.
Yet as Frontgate’s senior director of product development & design, Eric focuses on the lifestyle value as much as the look. Where does the bar stool meet the back of your leg? How does the thickness of the seat’s foam relate to the board underneath? How much weight can be put on the chair’s stretchers?
“A lot of time is spent on the details, because they set us apart,” he said. “The design choices are intentional and deliberate, because this is an investment for the customers and you want to be proud of it.”
Frontgate prides itself on the craftsmanship and quality of every bar stool, made to specifications superior to industry standards. Each boasts its own artistry – be it handcarved details in refined chairs like Provencal Grapes, designer fabric-and-leather combinations in our new custom bar stool series, or evocative textures like the seat caning and leather hand-binding on the tropical Wailea.
For each bar stool, the average time from concept to finished product is a year, Eric said. He and his fellow designers begin with a direction suggested by merchants – a coastal bar stool, for instance. Then the designers discuss what geographical areas or elements inspire them, and consider the colors, patterns and textures that are trending. Sketches begin. Refinement comes in terms of the chair’s proportions and materials.
Computer-assisted design printouts and 3D modeling programs advance the project progress to the sampling stage; it takes about four months to produce a high-quality sample. Two or three rounds of revisions, each requiring the careful production of new samples, perfect the design.
Frontgate also revisits existing products to meet the brand’s ever-increasing standards. For instance, we found a way to improve the materials and increase the amount of detailed carvings in the Provencal Grapes and Rooster stools – all without raising the cost.
Spend time with Eric, and you’ll get an education on mortise-and-tenon joints, ball bearings and wood substrates. The only key lesson: Those details matter.
“Ultimately,” he said, “the finished product is going to have to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
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